Nearly seven months after the election Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki looks to be making yet another comeback, with officials saying that a meeting between the State of Law and Iraqi National Alliance blocs was close to settling on him as their joint candidate for prime minister.
Maliki is seen with a narrow lead over the INA’s preferred candidate, Adel Abdulmahdi. This is perhaps expected as much of his State of Law bloc has been firmly behind him and is larger than the INA. But can he form a government?
That is less than clear, as much of the INA has already ruled out participating in a government giving Maliki a second term, and even a small portion of the State of Law bloc is opposing him. The Iraqiya bloc, which has the biggest plurality, has also ruled out working with Maliki.
Iraqya’s candidate, Ayad Allawi, is currently in Syria for talks, trying to rally support for his own candidacy. Just weeks ago it seemed he was on the brink of ceding the position to Abdulmahdi, however that, as with all the other “almost” government deals, fell apart and it is once again anybody’s race, even Maliki’s.
Perhaps the most likely scenario however remains a hung parliament, as no faction appears to be able to muster a majority and even a myriad of foreign factions trying to shoehorn their own preferred alliances together hasn’t made much leeway.